Cheshire East Council has welcomed the news that the UK’s six biggest energy companies have signed up to the 2010 ‘EnergySure Code’ – to support and protect local residents who do not wish to be approached by cold-callers.
This follows a lengthy campaign by the energy watchdog Consumer Focus and the Trading Standards Institute (TSI).
The code asks energy companies to respect the wishes of people who live in recognised no cold-calling zones or display a sign in their home asking people not to cold-call.
There are currently a number of no cold calling zones in Cheshire East: Alsager; Congleton; Holmes Chapel; Middlewich; and Poynton. This means residents of the zone have collectively agreed they do not want cold callers approaching them at the door.
Signs have been erected at the entrance to each street and every house will display a warning sticker. Residents have also been briefed on how to handle unwanted visitors and have been asked to contact Consumer Direct or Cheshire Police depending on the circumstances.
Cheshire East Councillor, Rachel Bailey, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Safer and Stronger Communities, said:
“I am pleased to hear that the UK’s leading energy companies understand the concerns of local residents. Being ‘cold-called’ can be an intrusive and intimidating experience for anybody; whether it is done by phone or on your doorstep.
“This code is a clear statement that energy companies are willing to respect the wishes of many people across Cheshire East. I would urge anyone who has concerns about cold-callers to contact the trading standards helpline, Consumer Direct, on 08454 040506.”
Audrey Gallacher, energy expert for Consumer Focus, said:
“If householders clearly say they don’t want salespeople to call, energy companies should assume they mean it. Whether people display a sticker saying they live in a No Cold Calling Zone or scribble a sign on the back of a piece of paper and stick it in the window, energy companies should respect their wishes.”
Brian Smith, crime and disorder lead officer at TSI, said:
“The energy companies’ recognition of the signage and No Cold Calling Zones will assist Trading Standards and the Police in their fight against doorstep crime and rogue traders. It gives a positive lead in the business sector and should be seen as an example of good practice and ethical behaviour by all companies that cold-call consumers in their homes.”
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